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Full text of "History And Human Relation"

THE    CHRISTIAN    AND    HISTORICAL   STUDY

young, with possibly a side-glance at some moral that
may be drawn from the narrative. One curious piece
of inflexibility has possibly been ruinous to history as
an education—the idea that there exists an ideal scheme
or map of history and that between students aged nine,
fifteen, twenty and twenty-three the only difference
in the history to be taught is a difference in the scale at
which the map is reproduced. When boys of nine are
being taught the structure of the feudal system or
sixth-form students are being pressed into work of
university character in advance of their status, great
opportunities are being missed, and the fallacy is like
that of the ancient painters who presented the infant
Jesus as a mare merely drawn on a smaller scale. It is
possible that for some young people history will be
useful as containing examples from which a certain
amount of political teaching may be elicited. Since
history, however, is so intricate a network, with "every-
thing so entangled with everything else, it is not clear
that sets of model instances, a modern equivalent of
^Esop's fables, would not serve that particular purpose
more adequately. The book of Isaiah may be used for
devotional purposes or, alternatively, as an historical
document, but it is not clear that the latter alternative
will be the useful one for everybody. And it could
hardly be claimed that every man should be
trained in technical history, especially as even this
training does not make a person really competent to
range over all the centuries. Bury was a great scholar,
but when he wrote on the nineteenth-century papacy he
made howlers which would prevent an undergraduate